Men’s basketball holds off TCU for redeeming road victory

Super-senior Mike McGuirk makes a play against Oklahoma State during K-State's 71-68 win on Feb. 2, 2022. (Archive photo by Kendall Spencer | Collegian Media Group)

After TCU came back to beat Kansas State earlier in the season, the K-State men’s basketball team (12-10, 4-6) won a payback game on the road in Fort Worth on Saturday, 75-63.

TCU scored the first bucket of the game, but after that, K-State wouldn’t trail again. After two free throws from super-senior Mark Smith to end the first half, the Wildcats went to the locker room with a 35-28 lead.

The Horned Frogs came out ready to play in the second half, cutting the lead down to 39-37 after a layup from Emmanuel Miller. A three-pointer from sophomore Ish Massoud around the 14-minute mark squashed any hopes for TCU, as K-State quickly jumped out to a 15-point lead over the next three minutes.

K-State held TCU around the ten-point margin for the rest of the game. The Horned Frogs cut the lead down to seven with 1:21 to go, but TCU missed three-of-four free throws, allowing K-State to bump its lead back up, with the Wildcats ending up winning 75-63.

“Just happy for our guys,” head coach Bruce Weber said, “playing with passion.”

Sophomore Nijel Pack once again led the Wildcats in scoring with 20 points on an efficient 7-10 shooting. Smith continued to dominate on the glass with another double-double, posting 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“We’re a blue-collar team that has good energy and plays hard,” Smith said. “Play hard every game. That’s what I try to do.”

TCU was without its team leader and leading scorer Mike Miles, who typically provides 15.4 points and 4.2 assists per game. In Miles’ absence, Damion Baugh stepped up with 17 points, along with 14 points from Francisco Farabello and 13 points from Miller.

Looking ahead, K-State welcomes No. 8 Baylor to Manhattan on Wednesday, Feb. 9. In the first match-up with the Bears this season, the Wildcats fell 49-74. Wednesday’s game tips off at 7 p.m., streaming on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.